FAQS

Where is Venture Point located?

Venture Point serves Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties in Central Pennsylvania. All job shadow and volunteer opportunities are located within these counties, however we accept students from other areas of Pennsylvania.

Where will students live during their Gap Year?

Students will have the option to live at home or obtain an apartment at their own expense. If students are interested in apartment dwelling, Venture Point will assist them in finding other Gap students to room with. You may state your living preferences on your Gap Year application. All job shadow and volunteer opportunities will be within approximately one hour of the student’s primary location.

Will students communicate with mentors in person, online, or both?

Mentors will communicate with students both in person and online. Mentors will set up bi-weekly 1 on 1’s with students to chat via phone or Skype to discuss their goal progress and future plans. Mentors will also schedule “Flash Flocks”, which occur randomly throughout the year to gather local Gap students together for skill-building or awareness enhancing activities.

Are students “graded” during their Gap Year?

Each student’s Gap Year is what they make it. Mentors will work to challenge students with skill-building workshops, goal setting, and planning their college careers. Venture Point highly encourages each student to participate in Flash Flocks, the Venture Project, and other activities to get the most out of their Gap Year.

What if students are unsure about which jobs they want to shadow?

Students can select what general career paths they are interested in on their applications. Mentors take time during Orientation to explore potential career paths with students. In addition, we offer four different rotations of job shadows, so students have the opportunity to rotate throughout various fields to find what fits best.

How long does one job shadow rotation typically last?

A typical rotation of a job shadow lasts for four weeks, three days a week.

What exactly is the Venture Project and what are the requirements?

The Venture Project can be anything that raises money or awareness for your local community. Examples include (but most certainly aren’t limited to!) organizing a fundraiser for a good cause, a race to raise funds for charity, or a community event. Students will be given funds to complete their Venture Project and will receive assistance from their mentors along the way.

Where will students gather during their Venture Projects?

During the Venture Project phase of the Gap Year, students will meet at local libraries or other public facilities once a week with other students in the area and their mentors to work through their Venture Projects.

Is the travel safe for students? Are the chaperones qualified?

We work with Liberty Travel Agency to ensure quality trips for each of our students. Students will be covered by traveler’s insurance through the agency and have 24/7 access to emergency services if needed. All chaperones go through extensive background and credit checks as well as in-person interviews.

Will each student get their choice in where they travel?

Students rank their travel choices by most favorable to least favorable during the application process. Mentors will work to match each student with their preferred trip, but cannot guarantee that they get their first choice due to balancing trip participation.

Is financial aid offered to students? Are scholarships offered to students?

Students are encouraged to fundraise in order to help cover their tuition costs. While there are no scholarships offered for the Gap Year program, we do assist students in finding scholarships for their college programs. In addition, a Venture Scholarship will be awarded to the most successful Venture Projects.

Is there a payment plan to pay tuition? Can students pay tuition all at once?

Students can either pay their full tuition through a one-time payment or through Venture Point's payment plan. A $500 deposit is required once the student is accepted to hold their spot. Students will then make monthly payments from October to May, or a one-time payment upon acceptance.

Can students defer college to participate in Venture Point’s Gap Year?

Deferral requirements vary across universities and colleges. If you have already chosen a college, we recommend you contact your college admissions office for their particular policy around deferrals.

Are there age requirements to gain acceptance into Venture Point’s Gap Year?

Generally, we accept students, ages 17-18, who are about to graduate from high school with the intent of continuing on to college. However, if a student is already enrolled in college and would like to participate, their admission would be decided on a case-by-case basis.

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JOB SHADOW

Students will gain the priceless professional experience they need to navigate the beginning of their career planning. Mentors will help students research career paths and place them into various job shadow programs that are the right fit for them. This experience will stand out to college admissions counselors and give students an idea of what it is like in the real world. Potential Categories:

  • Business
  • Education and Human Services
  • Healthcare and Medicine
  • Humanities
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Sciences
  • Technology

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TRAVEL

Students will seize the opportunity to travel to various destinations across the United States and Europe. They will make the most of their time abroad by planning the activities that interest them along with fellow students. Students will discover new cultures and ways of life while learning more about themselves along the way. Travel Placement Categories:

  • Domestic *
    • Nature Lovers: Appreciate some of the natural wonders of the western U.S. that will be sure to take your breath away.
    • Free Thinkers: Explore some of America’s most contemporary towns filled with different ways of life.
    • Southern Comfort: See the sights and feel America’s southern charm through different cities down south.
  • International *
    • France/Spain: Explore Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid
    • Italy/Greece: Discover Athens, Santorini, Rome, and Venice
    • Northern Europe: Sightsee Dublin, Glasgow, London, and Amsterdam
  • Finale
    • The third and final trip is planned entirely by the student. We give you the budget, and you build upon what you've learned to plan one last successful venture.

* These are sample itineraries and are subject to change

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VOLUNTEER

Students will make an impact on local communities in need by donating their time to various volunteer organizations. They will engage in communities different from themselves and make a difference where it matters most. Volunteer Placement Categories:

  • Animals
  • Arts, Science, and Culture
  • Children and Youth
  • Community
  • Education and Literacy
  • Environment

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COLLEGE PREP

We set aside time in students’ Gap Year to help them find the right school that fits all of their needs.

During Orientation, students will research colleges and plan out their visits. Students then have two separate weeks to visit the colleges that they picked out, knowing what details to look for in each one.

Once the schools are chosen, we will guide students through their daunting college and scholarship applications. While the applications are created and owned by each student, mentors will assist with resume building and priorities for each application.

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VENTURE PROJECT

Students will have the opportunity to put all of their learnings to the test through building and executing a Venture Project of their own. Students will create their own Venture, such as a fundraiser or community event, in order to raise money or awareness for students’ local communities.

Venture creation is incubated by each student, however mentors will be by their side to see it to completion. Students will learn invaluable skills that will prepare them for college and beyond, such as time management, independence, adaptability, communication, and much more.

Whoever has the most successful Venture, which can be defined as monetary or otherwise, will be awarded a Venture Scholarship worth up to their full Gap Year tuition at the end of the program.

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MENTORSHIP

Mentors will guide students through their Gap Year as a compass, but the destination is up to the students.

  • We begin the program with week-long Orientation, where students build their goals, determine their strengths and opportunities, and attend various skill building workshops.
  • In the middle of the program, students will attend Checkpoint week, where they will reflect on their progress and goals, and plan for the future ahead.
  • Throughout the Gap Year, mentors arrange Flash Flocks, where students take a day to get together and explore local treasures while continuing to build upon their skill sets.
  • At the end of the program, students attend Fledge, where Mentors reflect on the year and award student(s) with the Venture Scholarship.

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